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جمعہ، 8 جولائی، 2011

'Ethnic violence' hits Karachi

It is not the government and law enforcement agencies alone who failed to maintain law and order and protect the life, honour and property of the people but the political parties have also failed to restore peace for cause of the human values in Karachi.

The killing field of Karachi has turned terrifyingly bloody. And for the political elites across the divide the moment of truth has definitely finally come to decide. They are now to choose between their politics and the city peace. Unarguably, it is for their politics that the port city, once the city of lights, has become such a dreadful place of darkness and mayhem. Mafias and criminal syndicates may be involved in this senseless carnage. Even confessional and sectarian outfits may be implicated. Foreign elements and agent provocateurs of alien powers may also be keeping the cauldron of bloodbath boiling with their own wickedness. But at the root of this terrible bloodletting is unquestionably the power politics of rivalling political forces warring for the city’s conquest. And this is a free-for-all war with no-holds-barred. No political party or group can credibly claim if it is no part of this war. All are engaged in this fight, though the major parties make up the main warring sides. And it is their battle that has created all the space for criminal gangs and foreign proxies to sneak in and further inflame the bloodletting to ply their unlawful trades more freely. Indeed, some have believably ganged up with the political contenders to this end. And if the warring political forces do not call a truce even now and let the political means have all the way to decide the city’s political configurations in a logical natural manner, they all will be shunted out of the arena sooner than later, with this hub of the nation’s economy falling into the hands of criminal mafias, syndicates and gangs. Seemingly, it worryingly is heading that way already. The political warriors must live under no illusion on this score. This is the way things work out when political forces go blind with their political ambitions madly. Criminal elements in such conditions not just oust the political forces, they even occupy their place in politics, as indeed has happened in neighbouring India.Over there, in the yore the underworld would often lend muscle power and financial sinews to political parties and factions to mop up political patronage on their backs for a safe passage of its criminal pursuits. Then, it took to electoral politics, with its members throwing their own hats in the ring, and instead of fattening the war-chests of others fueling their own campaigns with their monies. And quite lot of them is regularly returning to the national and state legislatures after every election. So much so, deeply disturbed democracy campaigners and civil society groups in the country are now holding this “criminalisation” of politics as much a bane to their democratic system as the growing hold of the dynasties on their politics.The warring political forces for the conquest of Karachi must realise that too they will in time be left on the wayside while the conquerors will be the mafias and criminal gangs. As a consequence, all their calculations for political gains would become dust while the city will certainly fall into a bottomless pit of turmoil, chaos and lawlessness uncontrollably. They must avert this untoward eventuality at any rate and at any cost. They all must understand that Karachi is no stagnant place; it is a growing bustling metropolis, throwing up ever-new objective realities, including demographic. And all the political forces have to be fully congnisant and respectful of those realities, come to terms with them and subject their political ambitions and objectives to them dutifully. None could hope to bend them to its own interests. That is a wholly unrealistic and unattainable expectation, as must have the war for the city’s conquest and domination brought home compellingly to the battling political forces by now. It can no more be the monopoly of any political party or group. The new emerging realities just do not allow that. It has to be a shared domain. And if the warring parties imbibe this, the city could hope to return to sanity, peace and security. If they don’t, it is doomed; and so are they. In that eventuality, none would exist there; only the criminals will be in rule.

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